TCWN e-Newsletter 30- July 29, 2002 Inside this Issue!
1. Announcing: Tennessee Clean Water Network's 5th Annual
1. Announcing: Tennessee Clean Water Networks: 5th Annual Conference Registration Deadline is only ONE MONTH AWAY!
>From the Source: Protecting Drinking Water in Tennessee
(Participants may join us for Friday only, Saturday only, or both days
- YOUR CHOICE!)
Saturday: This day, designed specially for watershed associations, will begin with two tracks of workshops including the following topics: Understanding the Consumer Confidence Reports and Making Them Useful in Your Community, Raising Awareness About Drinking Water Through the River Networks' River Smart Campaign, Forming New Watershed Organizations, Bench marking: Sustaining New Organizations, Working With Non-traditional Allies in Your Watershed. Harpeth River field trips in the afternoon will involve watershed surveying by participants from land and canoe.
For a full registration form and agenda, please email May Sligh at [email protected]
2. Notice and Public Hearings - Come and discuss the states listing of impaired waters and attend local watershed assessment meetings! Very important
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of
Water Pollution Control, has issued a draft version of the prioritized
list on the surface waters not fully supporting designated uses due to
Several public meetings have been scheduled throughout the state concerning this matter and are listed on the following page. A schedule of public meetings will also be posted on the TED web site. For further information contact [email protected] or write to the above address. All written comments must be received by September 1, 2002.
Public Meeting Schedule
August 27, 2002
August 29, 2002
3. EPA's Adopt Your Watershed Campaign
4. Opportunity - Celebrate the Clean Water Act's 30th Birthday - Encourage Your Community To Sign the Clean Water Proclamation!
Looking for a way to involve your community - and particularly your local decision makers - in clean water issues? Are you trying to raise the visibility of your organization? Do you want to be heard?
The national Clean Water Network has launched its "City Clean Water Proclamation Campaign" and the Tennessee Clean Water Network is here to help you do it! The campaign empowers your organization, your community and your local government to use the Clean Water Act to protect your precious waters and to revitalize them as you rejuvenate your neighborhood.
The goal of the Network's campaign is to get 100 cities nationwide to
take a public stand for clean water by signing on to a clean water proclamation,
and making specific commitments to achieve clean water. The proclamation
puts your city or local government on record as supporting clean water.
It also gives your organization a positive, proactive opportunity to work
with your local government to recommit to the Clean Water Act on its 30th
anniversary. Click here for more
5. Event - National Water Monitoring Day
Date: October 18, 2002
Download a NWMD Press Release and Other Press Materials!!! National Water Monitoring Day
Citizen monitors, established volunteer monitoring organizations, federal, state, Tribal and local monitoring staff are invited to participate in National Water Monitoring Day on October 18, 2002. Citizen monitors including families, classrooms, civic organizations and service clubs can participate and sample for a core set of water quality parameters (Temperature, pH, Water Clarity, Dissolved Oxygen) using an inexpensive National Water Monitoring Day test kit available through this web site. Established volunteer monitoring organizations and government monitors may use their existing protocols, equipment, and monitoring methods. Use of the test kit described below is not a requirement for participation in this event
Register Monitoring Sites
National Water Monitoring Day Test Kit
6. Resource: Activist Handbook on Organizing Against Factory Farms
The GRACE Factory Farm Project has recently released a new activist handbook on organizing against factory farms - The GRACE Factory Farm Project Guide to Confronting a CFO. It is a step-by-step 'how to' manual for anyone interested in taking action against a CFO. Included are tips on the type of information to gather, where to find it, and what to do once all the relevant information has been obtained. The guide also contains suggestions on organizing and working with the media, as well as an extensive appendix.
You can find the Guide to Confronting a CFO online at www.factoryfarm.org/guide. GRACE is also offering it free on CD-ROM and in printed form to any water; outreach and publicity in support of existing volunteer monitoring efforts; and, enhanced partnerships among volunteers and professionals interested in, and working on, water related issues at the watershed, State, and national levels. Please copy and share the guide, or have any interested party call (212) 726-9161 or email [email protected] for a printed version.
7. Action Alert - Help Protect the Obed Wild and Scenic River!
>From Lianne Russell with Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning:
MOST IMPORTANT: URGE SENATORS FIRST AND THOMPSON TO CONTACT SENATORS BIRD AND BURNS (i.e., the Senate Appropriation leadership) IN SUPPORT OF KEEPING THE HOUSE LANGUAGE WITH REGARD TO THE BED APPROPRIATION.
Dear Senator Thompson
Our Congressman, Zach Wamp, has managed to include a $1.5 million item for land acquisition along the Obed National Wild and Scenic River (WSR) in the House Appropriations Bill, and we are deeply grateful to him. Unfortunately, no such item is included in the Senate bill, and we would like to urge you to do all you can to protect the House language during the upcoming conference.
The Obed WSR, authorized in 1976, is Tennessee's only Wild Scenic River, one of only a small handful in the entire Southeast, and the only one administered by the National Park Service. The main river and its major tributaries have cut deep, wild gorges into the sandstone of the Cumberland Plateau, and the rivers, a succession of rapids and pools, are beloved by white water enthusiasts nationwide. The state has classified the rivers as "Outstanding National Resource Waters." Congressman Wamp has publicly referred to the Bed WAR as "an incredible asset."
The authorized boundary includes the river gorge plus a narrow strip above the top of the bluff line, altogether less than 5000 acres. Although 26 years have passed since the Obed WSR was authorized, only about two thirds of the land has been protected through government acquisition of fee title or easement. In the meantime, land costs have greatly escalated, and threats of adverse development are growing constantly. The $1.5 million in the House Appropriations Bill is sufficient for the National Park Service to at long last acquire virtually all the remaining land.
TCWP members (and many thousands of others) should be most grateful if you would contact the Senate conferees, and especially Senators Bird and Burns, urging them to retain the House language with regard to the $1.5 million Obed WSR land acquisition.
To contact Senator First go to the following web site: http://frist.senate.gov/Contact/contact.html
8. Update on oil spill and fire at Obed Wild and Scenic River from Cindy
Kendrick of Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning (we have edited
portions of this wonderful report because of space
On Saturday, July 27, I had the great privilege of accompanying Obed
Rangers Robert Turan and Kim Williams on an inspection of the closed
We carried boats and equipment past clean-up crews to the end of the Barnett trail, which had been heavily used in the past week to get pumps and tankers down to the pool to suck out the accumulated oil. We put in (NPS duckies) just below the last boom below Barnett Bridge. The fuel odor was strong, and oil was still abundant on the water's surface. The boom was stopping much of the oil, but a considerable amount was still passing through. Mustard-brown, gelatinous crud, which they explained was paraffin from the oil, accumulated along the banks and in still water. The creek was as murky as I've ever seen it, with a high sediment load from the disturbed areas. We avoided stepping into the malodorous brew as we launched.
The put-in experience contrasted sharply with one only a month earlier, on May 27. Daniel Freeman, Jimmy Groton, Patrick Martin and I had launched from Barnett into a pristine creek. The scents were fresh and earthy, just after a spring thunderstorm. The notable exception that day was registered not far downstream from Barnett, from the direction of river-right. We all noticed a kerosene-type odor and wondered what the source could possibly be. After the events of last week and the realization that many oil wells pierce nearby land, we now have more cause to wonder.
>From talking with several people who have worked directly at the
We need to ensure that our concerns are heard by the people who must commit resources to and oversee the cleanup. If you treasure the Obed system, please take a few minutes to insist on the speedy and complete restoration of Whites Creek and Clear Creek to pristine conditions. Here are some of those people:
Also, try to attend the Emory/Obed public meeting, where TDEC will present watershed-specific plans. The meeting is on August 29, at 7:00 pm, EDT, at the Morgan County Courthouse, South Kingston at Main Street, in Wartburg, TN.
State of Tennessee
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Milton H.
Hamilton, Jr., Commissioner 21st Floor, L&C Tower 401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243 1-888-891-TDEC
TDEC - Division of Geology (Oil and gas wells are regulated by this Division)
TDEC - Division of Water Pollution Control
US EPA, Region 4
9. Resource: "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches"
Nordic's 12th annual beach report released yesterday found that there were 19 percent more closures and advisories in 2001 than in the previous year. The guide reports there were at least 13,410 closures and advisories at ocean and freshwater beaches in 2001, compared to at least 11,270 in 2000.
Sewage discharges and storm water runoff are the two largest identified sources of contamination at our nation's beaches. The annual trend of increasing closures and advisories is partly due to the fact that more municipalities are monitoring their beaches regularly. Increased monitoring offers a more comprehensive picture of the health of our nation's beaches, and it's not pretty: Pollution from sewage spills and urban runoff continues to contaminate many of our beaches with disease causing bacteria and other pathogens. High bacteria levels, indicating the presence of human or animal waste, prompted 87 percent of the closures and advisories in 2001.
One of the report's most disturbing findings is that local authorities admit that they don't know the sources of pollution causing or contributing to more than half of the closures and advisories issued.
To access press materials, an executive summary, and a copy of the full report, go to: http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/titinx.asp
10. Action Alert - Area Groups Seek Support to Stop Surface Mining in Cumberland County, Tuesday August 6... From Don Clark with SOCM..
The Cumberland County Chapter of Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), among other groups, is seeking citizen support at the Informal Conference on the Cumberland Coal Company's Surface Mining Renewal Application. What amounts to a public hearing will be conducted by the US Dept. of Interior Office of Surface Mining at the Cumberland County Courthouse at 7 PM CST on Tuesday, August 6.
A Press Conference will take place at 6:30 PM. In the Small Courtroom. A few victims of the coal mine blasting will report and show pictures.
At the Informal Conference, at least 20 neighbors of the mine and area residents will present short testimony documenting several reasons why the renewal should be denied. Environmental and conservation groups have also asked to present testimony and written statements. Others can sign up to speak at the event for probably not more than 3 minutes.
Submitting supportive written statements or letters and being present
will demonstrate citizen involvement and concern which is needed for
11. Participate in River Education: Introducing River Smart
River Smart is a national public education campaign designed to show people how simple changes in their everyday activities can help our nation's rivers. The goal of River Smart is to make lasting changes to improve our rivers and drinking water supply. To review the entire campaign log onto: http://www.riversmart.org/
The Tennessee Clean Water Network is coordinating the efforts of organizations,
agencies, and others across the state to get the River
If you wish to participate in this campaign, please call us at TCWN, 865-522-7007, if you have any questions or simply want to brainstorm about how to get these important issues into your local watershed.
12. Permit under Consideration by State
Public Participation Opportunity
To Obtain Permit Details:
This newsletter is intended to provide a quick look at current clean water issues in Tennessee, in addition to resources available to the concerned citizen.
Visit our web site (www.tcwn.org) to find more detailed information.
Comments and submissions for the newsletter are welcome. Send to [email protected]